- Museum number
Title to the set of drawings (mostly copies after Abraham Bloemaert) presented to the Board of Ordnance as specimens of the artist's ability for the post of draughtsman to the Military Survey in Scotland, 1746-7; portrait of the artist seated on the ground and sketching from the antique, an ornamental cartouche below
Pen and black ink and grey wash
- Production date
Height: 308 millimetres
Width: 195 millimetres
- Curator's comments
- In set with 1880,0911.1772-1779
K Sloan, Noble Art 2000
The early education in Nottingham of Paul Sandby's elder brother Thomas (1723-98) underlines the points being raised in this chapter connecting the teaching of drawing with surveying and an interest in antiquities. Thomas was probably taught by Thomas Peat, a local schoolmaster, surveyor and architect who produced a map of Nottingham for Charles Deering's book Nottingham Old and New (researched 1736-40, published 1751). Most of Thomas Sandby's earliest drawings were antiquarian, architectural and prospect views which were engraved to illustrate it. In 1742 he began working in the Board of Ordnance Drawing Office then housed in the Tower of London. A year later he accompanied an unknown military engineer to Scotland, travelling there again in 1745 as a civilian draughtsman with the British army under the command of the Duke of Cumberland, the younger son of George II. Sandby was with him at Culloden and also accompanied the Duke on campaign in the Netherlands during the War of the Austrian Succession, entering the Duke's household at Windsor on his return.
For the rest of his life, Thomas continued to draw three shillings a day and half pay allowance of £91 5s. every year from the Drawing Office. It is not surprising then to find his younger brother Paul preparing drawings for submission to the same Office in 1746, although almost nothing is known of his training before this date. Few records of the Drawing Office survive from this period, but its main business was connected with military engineers, both in map making, surveying, road building and fortifications, as well as making coastal views, plans of docks and charts for the navy. It had strong connections with the Admiralty, the Astronomer Royal and Christ's Hospital and the various military and naval academies. The young men trained there were mainly used as part of surveying and reconnoitring teams, employed not only in Britain but also in conflicts and colonies abroad. Some like Paul and Thomas Sandby remained civilians, while others like Charles Tarrant combined their drawing abilities with a professional military career.
Literature: see Tarrant (cat. 83); The Painters' Progress: The Life and Times of Thomas and Paul Sandby, exh. Nottingham Castle Museum 1986, passim; Robertson, passim; Johnson Ball, Paul and Thomas Sandby. Royal Academicians, Cheddar 1985, pp. 135ff.; Herrmann, pp.11-16, 81; Alfrey, nos. III.10,11
- Not on display
- Exhibition history
1986 May-Aug, Nottingham, Castle Museum, 'Sandby', (cat.)
1990 May-Jul, Nottingham University AG, 'Mapping the Landscape' no. III.10
2000 May-Sep, BM P&D, 'A Noble Art', no.91(a)
2009-10, Possible Loan, Nottingham Castle Museum, Sandby, and other venues
- Acquisition date
- Acquisition notes
- Transferred from the Map Library.
- Prints and Drawings
- Registration number